Accreditation

PRSA DETROIT APR OVERVIEW AND SUPPORT

Have you always wanted to become accredited, but struggled to find the time to devote to an APR Prep Session? You’re in luck! With accreditation prep resources online, you can go through the material at your own pace.

WHAT IS ACCREDITATION?

Established in 1964, the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential is the public relations profession’s only national post-graduate certification program. The APR designation signifies a high level of skill and competency in the Public Relations field.

WHO CAN PURSUE THE APR?

Accreditation is recommended for candidates who have at least five years of experience in the full-time practice or teaching of public relations and who have earned either a bachelor’s degree in a communications-related field or have equivalent work experience. However, any PRSA member in good standing can take on the challenge of earning Accreditation.

QUESTIONS?

For more information about Accreditation, contact:

PRSA Detroit Accreditation Committee:

Jen Mrozowski, APR (co-chair) – [email protected]

Kristin Sokul, APR (co-chair) – [email protected]

Mark Geary, APR – [email protected]



Get Started Earning Your APR

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WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ACCREDITATION?

  • A Recognized Standard – The APR designation is widely known and respected and the only national post-graduate certification program.
  • Enhanced Knowledge & Skills – The APR process refreshes and/or enhances your public relations knowledge and skills. No matter what college degree you might have earned, or what practice area your career is focused on, with Accreditation, it is back to the basics! The process builds upon the fundamental knowledge critical to our field. This information can be applied to your practice of public relations, making you an even better professional.
  • A Potential Edge in the Job Market – If you find yourself in the job market, the APR designation is a “stamp of approval” on your resume. It demonstrates you have a high level of experience and competency in the field, and it’s a nice talking point for your interviews with potential employers.
  • PR for PR – Overall, the APR designation helps move the public relations profession forward, which benefits all of us in this industry. As more of us become Accredited, the overall perception and respect for our industry improves.
  • Personal Satisfaction – Earning Accreditation is a challenge, and something you’ll be proud of when you have completed the process!

WHAT DOES ACCREDITATION MEAN AND WHAT DOES IT DO?

The APR…

  • Signifies a high professional level of experience and competence.
  • Enhances a practitioner’s approach to project planning as well as daily implementation skills.
  • Broadens the knowledge of practitioners working in specialized public relations fields.
  • Demonstrates interest, determination and commitment to self-improvement.
  • Elevates the profession in stature as the number of accredited public relations practitioners grows.

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN EARNING ACCREDITATION?

To earn Accreditation, you must complete the following steps:

  • Submit an application to the Universal Accreditation Board, along with your payment.
  • Complete your Candidate Questionnaire.
  • Participate in a Panel Presentation/Review. Based on your professional experience, you will develop and present a comprehensive PR plan during a formal presentation to a panel of three local Accredited members of PRSA. The presentation includes a portfolio that highlights a comprehensive public relations program or initiative you have completed during your career in a paid or volunteer position
  • Pass a computer exam, delivered in a multiple-choice format, within a year of your application.

Detailed information about each of the steps to earning Accreditation can be found at PRSA.org.


HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO EARN ACCREDITATION?

Candidates have up to one year from the date of application approval to complete the testing process. While candidates typically complete the first several steps of Accreditation on a specific schedule set up by the PRSA Detroit Accreditation Committee, the computer-based exam is taken “on demand” at the candidate’s discretion.

Earning Accreditation requires preparation, such as reading and studying, over the course of several months. Even seasoned professionals should be prepared to approach the Accreditation process as an academic exercise.


WHAT MATERIAL DOES THE EXAMINATION COVER?

The Accreditation examination covers the following topics:

  • Research, planning, implementing and evaluating programs
  • Business literacy, problem solving and leadership
  • Managing relationships
  • Ethics and law
  • Crisis communication management
  • Communication models, theories and history

RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD

To learn more about the process, start by filling out the form to the upper right and clicking “View Resources” to access PRSA Detroit’s library of presentations on communications theories, crisis communications/media relations, ethics, law, programming and research that will help guide you through the APR process. We recommend you view Research APR Prep parts 1-5 and Public Relations Programming. These presentations will give you important information you can use when filling out your panel presentation candidate questionnaire, which is a requirement for the process.  The remaining presentations may be viewed at your leisure.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I’M INTERESTED IN ACCREDITATION?

After reviewing materials about the process, the first step is to turn in your APR application to PRSA National and alert PRSA Detroit that you intend to seek your accreditation.

Next, follow the key dates for the Detroit Chapter’s 2021 timeline, noted below, and view additional preparation resources available on the PRSA National website.

KEY DATES AND SUGGESTED TIMELINE FOR 2021*

For candidates interested in completing their accreditation in 2021-22, with the goal of receiving your APR pin at the Detroit PRSA Annual Meeting in November 2021, consider following the timeline below.

  • April 21, 2021 at noon: Join members of the PRSA Detroit APR Committee for a webinar that outlines the accreditation process.
  • June 2021:Turn in your APR application to PRSA National* and alert PRSA Detroit that you’re going through the process by the end of June. Once you are accepted by PRSA National, you will have one year to complete the process, which includes the questionnaire, panel presentation and computer-based exam.
  • July 2021:All APR candidates must complete a panel presentation candidate questionnaire. To be recognized in time for the November 2021 Annual Meeting, you should submit your questionnaire to [email protected] and [email protected] by the end of July.
  • August 2021:Each candidate must present to a panel of APRs. We will work to ensure that your panel presentation is scheduled in August to help keep you on track for November 2021 recognition. If you advance from your presentation, you will be informed by PRSA National via a letter.
  • September 2021-May 2022: Use this time to study for your exam. You may schedule your test when it is appropriate for you. As a reminder, you must take and pass the exam within one year of your application being approved by National (For example: if you submitted your application by the end of June 2021, be prepared to take your exam no later than June 2022).
  • November 2021 (date TBD): Candidates who pass the APR accreditation process within the 2021 timeline noted above are invited to join their PRSA peers to receive their APR pin at the Detroit Chapter’s annual meeting. For same year recognition, you must complete and pass the exam by November 1, 2021 to be eligible at the November 2021 Annual Meeting. If you pass your exam after November 1, 2021, you will be eligible for recognition at the November 2022 Annual Meeting

*Please note: If possible, it is recommended you begin studying for the APR before you apply. This will help inform your questionnaire and panel presentation.

 


MENTORS

If you need support on your APR journey, we have a list of PRSA Detroit APRs who are willing to mentor candidates through the process. Please contact the Detroit PRSA Committee co-chairs, and we will connect you with a local APR to assist you with any questions you may have about the process.


I’M ALREADY ACCREDITED. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO MAINTAIN MY ACCREDITATION?

To maintain your Accreditation, you must be a member of PRSA or another organization recognized by the Universal Accreditation Board. In addition, you must keep your PR knowledge and skills fresh by accumulating points in continuing education and professional development, professionalism or public service. You must submit documentation of these activities to PRSA National every three years, along with a $50 fee.

Visit PRSA.org for detailed information about maintaining Accreditation.


Additional contacts:

APR Committee Board Liaison

Kristin Sokul, APR – [email protected]m

 

PRSA National Manager of Accreditation:

Kathy Mulvihill – [email protected] (212.460.1436)